Video of communal clash in Maharashtra falsely shared as from Karnataka

By: Rohith Gutta
November 27 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Video of communal clash in Maharashtra falsely shared as from Karnataka

Screenshot of an X post claiming Hindus were beaten up in the Congress-ruled state of Karnataka. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This video shows a scuffle that took place on November 13 between members of two communities in Ahilyanagar district of Maharashtra.

Claim ID fbffe689

What is the claim?

As the polling day inches closer in Telangana, a video of a scuffle is circulating on social media, warning Hindu voters to 'vote wisely.' Several social media users have claimed that the incident captured in the clip is from Karnataka. A user on X (formerly Twitter) shared the two-minute video with the Islamophobic caption: "Karnataka: Muslims giving their natural treatment to Hindus for gathering before a temple. An aggressive, ruthless religion + a highly partial government. HINDUS of Telangana, please cast your vote WISELY..... Because Ms are going to vote VERY WISELY."

Congress formed the government in Karnataka a few months ago and now has its eyes on Telangana, where it is the main opposition party. Elections in Telangana are going to be held on November 30.

The viral video shows a group of people beating up two saffron-clad persons, presumably Hindu priests, while screaming and shouting at one another (archived here). A longer version of the same video is being shared on Facebook with a similar communal narrative and claims implying that a Congress rule in Telangana would lead to more interfaith clashes. Archived versions of such posts can be viewed here and here.

Screenshots of social media posts sharing the video. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is not from Karnataka.

What did we find?

We noticed that the people in the video are not speaking in Kannada, Karnataka's official language, but in Marathi, an indication that the video may either be from Maharashtra or parts of north Karnataka where Marathi is widely spoken. We ran the keyframes of the viral clip through a reverse-image search and found various news reports sharing details of the incident in question.

A video report published by the Marathi news channel News 18 Lokmat carried some visuals that are the same as the one captured in the viral video. The Marathi title of the video report read, "Kanifnath Mandir I Who beat the priests? What happened at Kanifnath temple?" The report identified the spot of the incident as Rahuri in Maharashtra's Ahilyanagar (formerly known as Ahmednagar) district. According to the report, "an incident of brutal beating of priests at Knaifanth temple in Rahuli had come to light. The crowd abused and beat up the priests (translated from Marathi)."

According to a report published in TV9 Hindi, which carried several same visuals as the viral clip, the incident took place in Guna village in Rahuri tehsil in Ahilyanagar district in Maharashtra. The report said that members from the Hindu and Muslim communities clashed over a religious event being held at the temple of Lord Kanifnath in the village.

According to the Marathi daily Sakal, on November 13, prayers were being held at the Kanifnath temple on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya. The report quoted a police official saying that members from the Muslim community allegedly objected to the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the prayers. The arguments snowballed into a scuffle between members of the two communities. 

A Hindustan Times report from November 14 noted that the land on which the Kanifnath temple stands is a matter of dispute between the two communities. Both have claimed ownership of the land, which also hosts a dargah in close proximity to the temple. A case over the dispute is also pending in court. The report noted that two FIRs — one based on a complaint by the Hindu community and the other based on a complaint filed by the Muslim community — were filed at Rahuri police station pursuant to the incident.

Logically Facts accessed the two FIRs (First Information Reports) filed in connection with the incident. A total of 120 people from both communities have been booked. The police intervened after the clash and have quelled tensions in the area. 

It should be noted that Maharashtra is governed by a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shivsena (Eknath Shinde) Party alliance government. The incident is not from Karnataka, which is a Congress-ruled state.

The verdict

A video of a scuffle between two communities in Maharashtra is shared as that from Karnataka. Therefore, we have marked this claim false. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before